more from Peter Geach

Single Idea 8771

[catalogued under 18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 8. Abstractionism Critique]

Full Idea

Nowhere in the sensible world could you find anything to be suitably labelled 'or' or 'not'. So the abstractionist appeals to an 'inner sense', or hesitation for 'or', and of frustration or inhibition for 'not'. Personally I see a threat in 'or else'!

Gist of Idea

'Or' and 'not' are not to be found in the sensible world, or even in the world of inner experience


Peter Geach (Mental Acts: their content and their objects [1957], 7)

Book Reference

Geach,Peter: 'Mental Acts: Their content and their objects' [RKP 1971], p.23

A Reaction

This is a key argument of Geach's against abstractionism. As a logician he prefers to discuss connectives rather than, say, colours. I think they might be meta-abstractions, which you create internally once you have picked up the knack.